Respect is honoring the worth or dignity in a person or process. When we respect others, we take their preferences and ideas seriously. We thoughtfully weigh our own insights and experiences against theirs.
Respect is merited particularly by those who are our elders, because knowledge, insight and wisdom often are hard won through a lifetime of discipline and learning.
Cultivating respect as a virtue does not mean insisting that all ideas, beliefs, or actions are respect-worthy. It does mean that we recognize the basic human dignity of others, even when their ideas or values are different than our own. A general attitude of respect also assumes that each person has something to teach us if we are willing to learn.